Legal expert Jonathan Turley is warning of "a dangerous precedent" that could be set by Senate Democrats in the coming days. With their path to impeachment seemingly blocked by the need for a supermajority (67%) to convict, Senators are getting creative in their efforts to bar President Trump from running again.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is reportedly working on a plan to censure America's 45th president, which would require only a simple majority to pass the Senate. But the "twist" is that Kaine apparently wants any censure of Mr. Trump to also disqualify him from holding future office.
Turley, who testified for the impeachment hearings of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, calls this tactic a "workaround," adding that "the motivation is to achieve the penalty of impeachment without the burden of a conviction." In an opinion article for The Hill this past weekend, he also wrote:
"Kaine would add yet another controversy to an array of constitutional issues by electorally barring Trump under the 14th Amendment. With the snap impeachment and a retroactive Senate trial, the country needs another constitutional controversy like Wall Street needs another Reddit stock tip. ...
"Kaine is open about his motivation for 'an alternative that would impose, in my view, a similar consequence' without a trial and supermajority vote. But that is why this tactic is so dangerous. The party in control could bar dozens of its opponents from running for federal office. Some Democrats are now demanding such action against Republicans who challenged the election of Joe Biden. This is common in authoritarian countries such as Iran, where leaders often bar their opponents from office."
Kaine and other anti-Trump Senators want to have their cake and eat it, too. They want to avoid an impeachment trial that they'll likely lose but, according to Turley, will "achieve the same result by a majority vote on censure." The George Washington University law professor also noted: "This [tactic] has never been used to disqualify a former president, and it is not clear Congress has carte blanche authority to bar a citizen from office by majority vote."
+ + Take Action To Stop Trump's Trial Before It Starts!
Exactly one week ago, Americans saw 45 GOP Senators vote that an impeachment trial of the former president is unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who forced that constitutional point of order, tweeted: "This 'trial' is dead on arrival in the Senate."
So why is the Senate still planning on starting the impeachment trial on February 8? Why aren't Republican Senators doing more to force Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to end the charade?
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Senate is playing the dangerous game with the 14th Amendment (The Hill)
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